Magic Gadgets

Newsletter Notes: Look Ma! I Can Juggle, Sorta…

It’s been a strangely hectic year so far. Here’s why…

I was recently watching a re-run of a sit-com and one of the characters twice walked between jugglers tossing bowling pins between them. It was funny, but it left me with a reminder of how oddly busy this year has been so far. You start out January with goals, especially as a writer, but life wrecks all those plans and you feel like your juggling far more than you can handle. There have been health issues, a steady stream of broken things to fix (seriously, it’s been several things every month so far), and then there’s writing.

Sometimes, I’ve been so distracted it’s been hard to get anything done for days. The Unseen Hand revision has languished as my head has been “swimming” over the variety of issues to address. My personal appointments keep me going and it’s hard to retain focus a lot of days. However, I’m still making progress even if it’s sporadic at times. But sometimes, I default to reading for a variety of reasons whether is fiction or non-fiction, usually just to rest my confused head. But that’s another story.

I’ve been so busy, I looked up and March was gone and April speeding by. Here are a some writing activities I’m juggling:

Marston’s Station:

When and why do you find yourself reading? Join my private group on Goodreads and discuss your answers in the Newsletter Questions folder. I’m also trying to add a few threads about developments with Archer’s Aim.

News about The Unseen Hand:

My progress is up and down due to lingering health concerns and the time it takes to manage the issues. In summary, the “brain fog” seems to create some odd neurological issues which have been discussed with my doctor. The treatment instructions are garden-variety due to lack of information. Input-output activity can easily tax the brain’s executive functions and physical activity can exacerbate the problem. How long this condition lasts is unknown – some people are over it rather quickly, mine is lingering. Regardless, I muddle along with writing and shifting to less taxing tasks as needed. All those oddities slow down revision and is the reason this post .

All that being said, I’m pushing forward the best I can and hope to decide on a release date soon. There are still some free review copies available when the book is ready so let me know if you want one and I’ll add you to my list. Incidentally, I’m still offering some free remaining e-book copies of The Order of the Dark Rose – contact me if you are interested in one. If I am able to land on a release date, I’ll post that in a special announcement.

Regarding special announcements

I’d like to move those into text format as much as possible so, with that in mind, I’ve started a text subscription since it’s faster and less time-consuming to read. If you’re interested, here’s the sign-up.

In other news

I’m developing series companions which will cover a wide range of background information about books in The Bow of Hart Saga and The Cursed Mage Case Files. Aside from reading, I find that working on these can be therapeutic when I’m not feeling well. I have a small one out for The Cursed Mage Case Files named Magic Gadgets, but I want to expand it. Of course this is a sidebar project and won’t be completed that soon, but if you want the current version, it is available to you via Bookfunnel at this link with newsletter subscription.

A Few Final Notes

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, there have been a few new items added on the Archer’s Aim Press Store over the last few months (there’s also a 15% coupon – SPRING15 until 4/30/2022). I’m also considering creating some unique digital items for the NFT market as well as looking into 3-D figures if you are interested in either one of these.

I hope to be back sooner with more news about The Unseen Hand, another fun development, and other news from Archer’s Aim.

Archer's Aim Press Store

Thanks for reading as usual. Please share this email with fellow fantasy fans. Let me know if you are interested in a free review copy of The Order of the Dark Rose as well as one for early reviews of The Unseen Hand. There are only 25 free copies available so don’t hesitate if you are interested.

 

Newsletter Notes: Stuck in the Mud

Writing has gotten off course into the mud and needs a tow out.


A few years back, on a rainy evening some young guests arrived at the house and tried parking wherever. A few of them were stuck in the mud. One of the drivers decided to pull off the driveway into an area where an underground water line had been repaired. The car was in mud up to the axle when I arrived home. All the young people worked to get the car out, but just made it worse. The car sunk deeper as the hole got bigger.

I knew the vehicle could only come out of the mud hole with a wrecker and we called one.

Meanwhile, there was at least one more car parked where it could get no traction. Everyone wanted to try and push it out again. I stopped that plan, grabbed a big chain I had, then towed this car out of the mud with my old Honda Pilot.

The wrecker soon arrived and pulled the other car out of the mud hole.

It was an instructive night for some young people without life experience. Aside from the obvious “watch where you park in the rain”, there were several other points to be made such as: don’t try to spin tires in mud, you can’t lift or push heavy objects out of mud, pull vehicles out of mud, know what you can get out of the mud with which kind of a tow, and more. The reason I pulled one car out and not the other was experience. One was just in need of relocation for traction – a simple tow to the right place. The other was too deep to extract from the hole without a wrecker.

Why is this story relevant? That’s where I am with writing and the business of it. My year plus of health problems has left me far behind on everything. I tried for several months to do it all at once, or as fast as possible. That’s a mindset like trying to drive out of a mud hole and you can easily make the situation much worse and certainly frustrating. Such times mean taking a step back and assessing the situation with a critical eye using life experience. I needed to know what needed a minor tow and what needed a wrecker.

After a few months of scrambling through a lot of writing and writing-business projects while getting some tasks completed, I finally stepped back and re-assessed everything. The holidays were a good time for this observation and led to some honest realizations that my goals would require some additional work, much of which I won’t detail here. Suffice it to say, I decided what needed the most effort and what didn’t against priorities that had changed over the last year plus. For instance, I really wanted to upgrade my website with better page content and overall organization. Along the way, I realized it was deeper in the mud than expected with a retired WordPress theme. It needed a wrecker.

That wasn’t the only unforeseen problem that revealed itself, but several goals required taking further steps back in order to achieve them. It took honestly assessing time and available energy to address them all. It meant, creating a priority for everything based on needs and what was required. Some are a simple tow out of the mud, if that. Other goals will take a little longer. However, I’ve decided I may be stuck in the mud, but I’m going approach these problems with a sense of pulling them out the best way available.

As such, the website can wait temporarily with some work-around solutions. Other goals, like publication of new books need focused attention, specifically work on The Cursed Mage Case Files. January was a step-back month on the road to pulling CMCF out of the mud. I found the series plot needed enhancement once I read a series of historical articles. These were timely and led to some minor changes in The Unseen Hand which will enhance the series. It was progress even if it didn’t look like it. More importantly, the cover arrived and it looks great. That development was a big step forward and made me realize I want to order my covers sooner in my publication process because they provide a motivating visual of what the book will become.

 

I’m still working on pulling things out of the proverbial mud, but I’m making progress each day even if it seems very little. Each small step puts me further along with overall goals as I hope to gain momentum. Later on, I hope to address specifics of where The Unseen Hand is, timing of the publication, a blurb, and even an excerpt or two. For now, I’m busy towing everything out of the mud as necessary.

Meanwhile, The Bow of Hart Saga experienced several months of very good sales resulting in additional reviews. If you’re interested in that series, have a look at these links for more information.

Discover the World of Denaria

Read the series FAQ

View the series maps and read how they were created

Also, there’s a short little free book about Magic Gadgets in The Order of the Dark Rose available to email subscribers. You can click over to it to find the subscription form or use the one on the side.

Likewise, I’ve added Archer’s Aim Press store with merchandise based on the artwork from books I’ve written. Have a look at those if you’re interested.